Australia makes some of the best gins in the world. Two of those exceptional gins are made right here in the northern rivers by the Brook (Brookies) and Messenger (Ink Gin) families.
Instead of making its own gin, the newly opened Lord Byron Distillery are starting a ‘Ginstitute’ in Byron (love the name!) where customers can come along and make their very own gin to take home and share with friends.
Founder Brian Restall believes that customers deserve to know where their drinks come from and how they are made. Lord Byron makes distilled spirits for discerning customers from ingredients sourced from their own family farm in the hinterlands of Byron Bay as well as other local growers. For example, they buy molasses from the local sugar milling cooperative, the last majority farmer-owned sugar milling business in Australia. The drinks are all handmade, following artisanal distilling methods.
Brian says, ‘We believe you can taste the difference because the ingredients are naturally better – we do not add artificial colours, flavours or additives. We are also Australia’s first and only zero-waste, carbon-neutral distillery.
‘At the Lord Byron Distillery Ginstitute we help customers select the botanicals that are just right for them. The great thing about food and drink is that everyone’s taste buds are different and also right. Gin is made by infusing botanicals into an alcohol base.
As a ‘student’ at the Ginstitute you get to select your own botanicals, and steep them in alcohol before distilling in a micro-still. You then bottle and label your hand-crafted masterpiece to take home with you. It’s quite an experience, and if you were really selfless it could make a unique gift for someone you love.
You can book courses online at www.lordbyrondistillery.com.